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Device Aims to Save Lives in Emergency Rooms

Photo: Case Western Reserve University

Severely injured or critically ill patients with blood clotting disorders can die while their doctors wait for lab results in emergency situations. But now, physicians at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, along with a team of engineers have developed a hand-held microsensor called the “ClotChip” to eliminate the wait. With less than a drop of blood, this prototype device is designed to provide a complete report on a patient's ability to clot blood and the activity of red blood cells known as platelets involved in clot formation in less than 15 minutes. Currently, such information is only available with specialized lab tests that take much longer. The ClotChip may prove especially useful due to the fact millions of Americans are now on newer types of “blood thinner” drugs. The device could help doctors treat such patients in emergency situations, as well as help patients find out how well such drugs are working day to day.

Dr. Evi Stavrou presented research about the “ClotChip” at the 58 th Annual Meeting of the National American Society of Hematology in San Diego. To understand more about this device and how it may be used in the future Dr. Stavrou sat down with Darrielle Snipes.